Despite allegations of forceful resignations of senior officers from active service, and the recent alleged disappearance of one Captain Edwin Kamara from detention at Wilberforce Barracks, the Commanding-In-Chief of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces RSLAF, president Dr Julius Maada Bio last Saturday 7th September, 2019 decorated 50 0fficers cadet and 250 recruits at passing out ceremony at the Armed Forces Training Centre Benguima, Waterloo Western Rural District.
As a political loyalty rewards package to some lucky young SLPP ladies drawn from across, who sailed smoothly through the process though president Bio sounds more cautionary to the 50 female officer cadets and 250 recruits, saying that as professionals they should completely hands off politics, having used political connections to get them on the jobs at the disadvantages of those without affiliations.
You may want to ask how most of them came through their various political connections and affiliations, so where does the Commander-In-Chief president Bio actually wants to leave military political connections, when the country’s state security forces; the Sierra Leone Police and the RSLAF have been so badly politicized under this SLPP regime, Filing to realize the billions of funds that were invested by previous governments and development partners to reforms those forces; the RSLAF and the SLP, only to be ripped apart by divisive political, ethnic and regional divides. Is that what president Bio and the ruling SLPP call good governance and democracy?
Over 300 women soldiers certified as officers of RSLAF, by way of increasing the number of female service personnel from ruling party support bases in the armed forces so as to protect their power in the event of any Ola. The move, though politically selective and largely dominated by people from the ruling SLPP background, it adds a feather to the hat of the government and the Commander-In-Chief president Bio by way of upgrading his gender credentials though more needs to be done in enhancing gender equity in both the RSLAF and the SLP.
Moreover, much as we acknowledge present and past governments efforts for placing women in strategic administrative positions as cabinet ministers, directors, ambassadors commissioners, it is also not a new thing as previous regimes trained so many women officer cadets and other sectors but were never that noisy about their roles and accomplishments in women’s empowerment among service personnel, whereas the failed male dominated SLPP government of president Bio is busy making noise all over place about the enlistments of pro-ruling party women as if it is not their rights even when they are qualified to be enlisted.
President Bio among other issues touched on in the RSLAF registered government’s firmed commitments to fully sustain high level of inequity in the army by discouraging cultures and attitudes that cause inequity. He therefore clearly underscored the significance of women’s participation in national security, noting the need for expansion of women’s presences in the armed forces, though being crystal clear on the fact that RSLAF should consider themselves as personnel serving not any one individual but the Republic of Sierra Leone.
How can they be depoliticized is the billion Dollars question on the lips of his critics which needs to be answered by the president as head of the army and a leading politician in the country, apart from the fact that he president Bio knows very well that they were all recruited through their various political connections within the ruling SLPP, and most of them directly with either president J.M. Bio, the First Lady madam One, Fatima Jabbie Bio and his ministers the more reason this particular set of south-east officer cadets and recruits would be always political, based on their affiliations with the powers that be. Even in their subsequent promotions it always has to be that more political with strong affiliations and recommendations before they can be considered for promotions to another levels or ranks.
President Bio may not want to hear this simple fact that the recruitment process of these fine sojas was also political which makes it national as noted in his statement, the process drew representations from all regions though it does not portray a national character as south and easterners are more represented according the finding of the medium. This is because of the policy of the ruling party that politics should dominate everything they as a government are doing. So be it then the struggle of the masses continues unabated. The only means of immediate survival in nowadays Sierra Leone is politics.
It is no secret that over the past one year and months non south easterner officers are being subjected to constant intimidation from their superiors mostly leading to unnecessary transfers, dismissals, demotions among other forms of disciplinary measures. Recent court Marshall verdicts and the forceful resignations of Gbonkenlen and others are classical examples of how the RSLAF and other state security forces have been ethnically and regionally decided under the present SLPP government of president Bio. In fact, there are so many unusual things are going on under the leadership of this regime that needs the urgent attentions of the international systems. The early warning signings are appearing almost always frequently so something needs to be done to restore public confidence in terms of democracy peace and stability and we are afraid that the current separatist SLPP does not drag us to another messy political unrest.